News

World Music Day returns

Streets will be closed in downtown Palo Alto Sunday afternoon, June 15, for annual music festival

The streets of downtown Palo Alto will be alive with music this Sunday, as the city marks its sixth annual Palo Alto World Music Day.

The day will feature around 50 groups and solo musicians -- both professional and amateur -- playing music from all over the world at 18 separate locations up and down University Avenue, branching off onto some side streets and with a few locations on Hamilton Avenue, including King Plaza in front of City Hall.

There will be choral groups, rock groups, singer songwriters, African drummers, blues bands, barbershop quartets, jazz combos and much more -- even a few dance groups.

"I'm very excited," said Claude Ezran, the longtime Palo Altan who first organized the event and is now a candidate for City Council.

Palo Alto World Music Day is part of a broader worldwide event, which calls for musicians to take up their instruments and sing in the street wherever they are. Ezran said he first encountered the celebration while traveling in France in the early '80s. He said he felt holding a local celebration in Palo Alto would be a good fit, as Palo Alto is such a culturally diverse place.

"The spirit of the event is a celebration of music and musicians in all their forms," he said.

In addition to being a fun community event, Ezran said, World Music Day is intended as inspiration for aspiring musicians, an outlet for up-and-coming amateurs and a way of making Palo Alto a Bay Area destination for music and the arts.

The celebration, which is co-sponsored by the Weekly, begins at 3 p.m. and runs until 7:30 p.m.

Streets will close in advance, starting at 11 a.m., and remain closed until 9 p.m. Those affected are University Avenue between Webster and High streets, and Hamilton Avenue between Bryant and Ramona streets.

For more information, go to pamusicday.org.

Watch a video of last year's World Music Day.

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